GCAP CoolCast

Ammonia Refrigeration Operators

by on May.01, 2014, under News

New discussion group for

Ammonia Refrigeration Operators

within Facebook.

Industrial Ammonia Refrigeration Training is what this group is designed for. Ammonia Safety is number one priority. Having problems or questions about ammonia, refrigeration, job references, codes or standards, RAGAGEP, PSM/RMP, and NEP please join.



For other discussion groups and online training resources click here.

Garden City Ammonia Program
2405 E Fulton Plz
Garden City, KS 67846



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RETA CARO and CIRO Certifications

by on Apr.15, 2014, under News

retaRefrigerating Engineers & Technicians Association (RETA) is an organization that is dedicated to help with the education of the Ammonia refrigeration industry.  Their Mission Statement: to enhance the professional development of industrial refrigeration operating and technical engineers shows the commitment and dedication to success they are trying to achieve.

RETA offers many course study materials to help operators to self-educate themselves but also offer a couple ANSI accredited tests known as the CARO Certified Assistant Refrigeration Operator, and the CIRO Certified Industrial Refrigeration Operator certifications.

There are several goals going along with these certification: to establish a nationally recognized standard of experience, education and training for refrigeration plant operators and supervisors, assist the refrigeration industry in developing and recognizing qualified plant operators and supervisors, encourage technical training and education as well as practical experience, promote safety, and increase public recognition of skills needed in the industrial refrigeration field.

It is extremely important that you just don’t study ready books to get knowledge o pass they exam, it is recommended to also study the supplemental packages before taking the exam.

CARO Certification

  • No Experience Required
  • Entry Level exam
  • 110 Questions multiple choice
  • 3 hour time limit
  • Supplement Package
  • 70% or higher to pass

The recommended study material to pass is Industrial Refrigeration 1 and Industrial Refrigeration IV from RETA.  GCAP’s Operator 1 course covers all this material and more and will also incorporate the practical “hands on experience” to enhance the learning experience.  If an individual can pass GCAP’s Operator I course and exam, they have a high probability they can pass the RETA CARO exam.  Since GCAP teaches refrigeration and this is a refrigeration exam the knowledge retained from our course greatly enhances your chances of passing this test.  As always you as an operator have to put forth the effort to apply yourself and utilize the knowledge.

CIRO Certification

RETA recommends 7 different refrigeration materials to attempt this test although passing these courses does not guarantee a passing score.  GCAP uses the Industrial Refrigeration II course in our Operator II training and this second course is used in preparation for operators to attempt the CIRO exam.  GCAP also uses the CIRO supplement from RETA’s website during this course we approach this supplement as a training tool for Operators of any experience to apply the skills required to evaluate a refrigeration system from an analytical standpoint as well as visualize the system in their minds from the information provided.  The CIRO exam is the most successful attempt to date to gauge an operator’s knowledge of refrigeration theory and basis from real life scenarios.  Every Operator II it is a joy to see operators understand the importance of round sheets in their facilities, accuracy and evaluation of these rounds are windows to our system.  There are calculations of HP and KW that are figured and although the average operator will not calculate these in their plant it shows them how important a slightly abnormal pressure increase can affect energy consumption.  It is also a great gauge on an operator’s ability to find the correct information based on the questions posed.  This skill is vital to management since they are relying many times on operators doing exactly that in their facility.

From the GCAP Operator II course perspective not only are you seeing this on paper you can see the reactions in our lab as “YOU” operate our systems.  In the second course you are given the procedure to operate the system and you balance the system based on heat loads in the lab.  Many of the scenarios from the two stage, DX and Flooded systems will happen as your run our lab equipment allowing you the opportunity to make the proper adjustments to solve the issue should it arise. GCAP believes that the combination of theory and lab training has helped us enable operators the best possible single training environment to successfully pass the CIRO certification exam.

ciro screen


Garden City Ammonia Program

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Danfoss Webinar on Liquid Injection Cooling

by on Apr.04, 2014, under News

danfossDanfoss is offering a webinar on liquid injection oil cooling.  April 15th @ 9:00 am EDT.

Register Today

Danfoss is a leader in the industry when it comes to liquid injection for industrial screw compressor oil cooling. Liquid injection has proven itself to be an effective choice for compressor cooling, has multiple benefits, and is widely used throughout the industry by all manufacturers. This webinar will outline the benefits of liquid injection oil cooling and how to control compressor temperature via our Danfoss ICM/ICF motorized valves, and our EKC 361 temperature controller for retrofit applications.

If you can’t make this date and time, please see the second e-mail where we are offering this webinar again on Wednesday April 16th from 2PM – 3PM (EST)

For more information contact Jason Paquette @ 410.513.1133 or jason_paquette@danfoss.com

Danfoss Liquid Injection

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“Spanish” Ammonia Operator I

by on Mar.06, 2014, under News

Last week Anthony Verdugo took lead position of the first ever Ammonia Operator I course with hands on training equipment given in all Spanish.  Lectures, book, and RETA test was given in Spanish.  We had 8 participants from various locations across the US and one was from Peru.

Anthony said ” It was the very rewarding to be part of this class.  I enjoyed seeing guys wanting to learn, eager to ask questions, and see them make something of themselves.”

Spanish Ammonia Operator I

Course Reviews:

“Me gusto el curso de espanol porque hoy tengo un major conocimiento de el refrigerante Amoniaco dentro de un sistema. Antes del curso tenia muchas dudas y muchas de las dudas fueron discutidas en clase y aclaradas. Espero que tengan mas cursos en espanol para poder volver para seguir aprendiendo. Ha sido una muy Buena experiencia el haber tomado este entrenamiento ya que es muy util en el trabojo diaro, hace los labores para un trabajador mucho mas facil y ceguro.”

“I enjoyed the Spanish course because now I have a better understanding of the refrigerant inside the system. I came to GCAP with a lot of doubts and most of my doubts were discussed and understood in class with the rest of the students. I’m hoping to attend more Spanish courses in the future, its been a great experience to be a part of GCAP Training. All the knowledge learned is very useful on a daily basis when dealing with a refrigeration system, it makes our job a lot easier and safer!”

“El curso fue increiblemente informativo y profesional, te ayuda a entender los conceptos fisicos y operacionales. Lo que mas me ayudo en el curso fue al entender al 100% el funcionamiento operative del Sistema de amoniaco y su seguridad. En el medio donde me desenuelvo profesionalmente es la escuela mas conocida y estoy completamente satisfecho.”

“The course was incredibly informative and professional , it helped me understand the basic physical and operational concept of a refrigeration system. What helped me the most was the understanding of the operational concept and safety regards with this chemical to the fullest. you guys are the most known school in the middle east and I am very satisfied with the course.”

“Aprendi muchas cosas con el curso de espanol que se requieren diaro cuando trabajando con un Sistema de refrigeracion. Los instructors fueron muy flexibles a la hora de hacer preguntas. Lo que aprendi dentro del curso me va ayudar en el futuro. “

“I learned a great amount of knowledge this week that is required to understand on a daily basis when dealing with refrigeration system. The instructors were very flexiblewith time when it came to asking a question. What I’ve learned from this course is definitely going to help me in the future. “

“Lo que mas me gusto de este curso fue como las lecturas fueron explicadas, para que el operador las pudiera entender. Las demuestraciones tambien me ayudar entender me Sistema. Fue muy Buena la experienca y explicaron muchas cosas que tenia dudas.”

“The number one thing I liked about the course is the way the lectures were explained, basic to where an operator can understand. The demonstrations also helped me understand my system. The experience was awesome and a lot of questions were answered.”

“Lo que mas me gusto del curso fue la lectura de los compresores de doble etapa, y el topo de como purgar los condensadores manual o automatico. Obtube una gran experiencia en cuanto los conocimientos de un Sistema de refrigeracion mecanica, seria nesesario implementar un curso de C02 en espanol ya que es un refrigerante natural.”

What I liked about this course was the two stage lecture and the topic on how & when you should manual or auto purge. It was a great experience to understand a mechanical refrigeration system. A CO2 course might be necessary in the future since it is a natural refrigerant.

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GCAP trains Garden City Fire Department

by on Feb.27, 2014, under News

Garden City Ammonia Program and Garden City Fire Department continue initial and refresher training with the local fire department of Finney County, KS.

Read Full Story

Garden City Fire Department Training 3


Garden City Fire Department Training 2


Garden City Fire Department Training

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Ammonia Gas Safety Blanket

by on Feb.10, 2014, under News

I recently was introduced to the Ammonia Gas Safety Blanket manufactured by Gas Safety Products LLC.

Dealing with ammonia and the potential to have a gas leak with any line opening this blanket could be very beneficial to safety for all involved.  GCAP has requested theirs for show students how this tool works. The blanket itself is designed to be attached to a water hose, wrap the pipe, and let the ammonia gas absorb into the water.

YouTube Preview Image

For more information on the blanket contact:

Gas Safety Products





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GCAP went to ATMOsphere Asia

by on Feb.05, 2014, under News

Randy and Rachel Williams of GCAP went to the first ATMOsphere ASIA this week in Tokyo Japan.

Technology & Innovation: Having always been a pioneering advocate in the field of natural refrigerants, Japan is the ideal location for the first-ever ATMOsphere Asia Conference. This conference aims to support the uptake of leading natural refrigerant technologies from all over Asia by global markets and bring international suppliers to Asia. ATMOsphere Asia serves as a forum for exchanges between leading end-users, suppliers, academics and government representatives.

YouTube Preview Image

ATMOsphere America 2014 will be San Francisco.  Look for GCAP to make this 3rd annual conference.  2013 Video Below.

YouTube Preview Image

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6th Annual Ammonia Safety Day

by on Jan.28, 2014, under News

Garden City Ammonia Program is proud to host the 6th Annual Ammonia Safety Day in Kansas City, KS. May 29,2014 at the Kansas City Community College.  Event will be held in the basketball gym.

This year we will have topics on Emergency Response, Incidental Release, Ammonia Sensors, Control Valves, OSHA, and EPA.

Must be pre-registered to guarantee a seat. Last year we had over 225 attendees and 18 vendors.  Hope to see you there this year.

Register Today

$35.oo per attendee

$350.00 per vendor

$500.00 sponsorship for breakfast or lunch

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GCAP “CoolCast” Episode 38: 2013 PSM Wrap Up, Top 3 Questions

by on Dec.18, 2013, under Podcast

Today’s PodCast, Jeremy Williams, Brian Chapin, and Josh Latovich of Garden City Ammonia Program talk about the top 3 questions asked in PSM courses through out the year.  Usually many difficult question are asked during class, although some of the simplest questions may be the most difficult to implement.

PSM word for thought in 2013:  If PSM training or process training is viewed only as an event, it will ultimately lead to failure of the program.

  1. How do we inform all employees that PSM exists?
  2. How do I organize my PSM program?
  3. What about PSM Software?

GCAP has had the privilege to be in many facilities for both training and compliance services.  Please feel free to listen to today’s podcast addressing how we have seen it done best.

Thank you all for your support in 2013, We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Don’t forget about the 2014 PSM/RMP Training Tour

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GCAP “CoolCast” Episode 37: OSHA’s Course Book 3430: Advanced Process Safety Management

by on Dec.06, 2013, under Podcast

GCAP is always looking to improve our PSM training program and consultation services. One of the tools we use is to request information from OSHA and the EPA under the Federal “Freedom of Information Act” which is often referred to as a FOIA request. In 2012 (at great expense) we used this tool to get the citation information for all PSM citations from 2008-2011. In 2013 we filed additional FOIA’s to get all 2012 citations. We don’t just get the citations themselves, but the documents behind them that show the reasoning behind the citations including pictures, the inspector’s inspection narrative, etc. Obviously, we learned a lot about how OSHA and the EPA interpret the PSM/RMP standards  from these FOIA’s and we’ve used that information in our custom textbook for our PSM class as well as source/working material for our NEP class.

Earlier this year, due to a FOIA we read an inspector quote from OSHA course book “3430 – Advanced Process Safety Management in the Chemical Industries.” We’ve long known of this course, but it’s only available from the OSHA Training Institute and only allows OSHA inspectors to attend the class. The quoted line that drew our attention was this: “The loss of Ml due to external corrosion is the single biggest concern in industrial ammonia refrigeration components.

We wondered – if OSHA is saying this in the course, what else are they saying? What was their source for this information? We again requested to be able to attend the course at our own cost and were turned down.  GCAP’s Director of Compliance Services, Brian Chapin, recalled a court ruling that was referenced in the MEER decision (http://www.oshrc.gov/decisions/html_1997/95-0341.html) from the 1990’s from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Diamond Roofing v. OSHRC, 528 F.2d 645, 649 (5th Cir. 1976):

“An employer, however, is entitled to fair notice in dealing with his government. Like other statutes and regulations which allow monetary penalties against those who violate them, an occupational safety and health standard must give an employer fair warning of the conduct it prohibits or requires, and it must provide a reasonably clear standard of culpability to circumscribe the discretion of the enforcing authority and its agents….

If a violation of a regulation subjects private parties to criminal or civil sanctions, a regulation cannot be construed to mean what an agency intended but did not adequately express.”

We didn’t think that an OSHA course on how they interpret the standard could be refused under FOIA so we requested the coursebook from the course under the Freedom of Information Act. Jeremy Williams, Managing Director of GCAP stated: “They can’t rig the game like this – if we’re being held to certain standards, we should know what they are. Sure, this is a legal issue, but at the end of the day it’s about Process Safety – Safety being the key word here.”

Eventually OSHA approved our FOIA request and we received three books totaling about 500 pages.

Unfortunately, they had redacted quite a bit of the information we were actually interested in. One example is the Ammonia Refrigeration Processes and Equipment presentation which was of particular interest.

Slides that were redacted include titles like:

  • Does PSM Apply?
  • What About NH3 Refrigeration Processes < 10,000lbs?
  • What are Signs of a Poor NH3 Refrigeration PSM Program?
  • What Design Codes and Standards Could be Expected in PSI?
  • Inspection RAGAGEP?

You can understand why we would want access to that information. OSHA had redacted it under provision 7(e) of the Freedom of Information Act. Provision 7(e) protects records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes the release of which could reasonably be expected to disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions. Essentially, they are arguing that if we knew what they were looking for we would be able to avoid citations.

Look, we at GCAP don’t necessarily disagree in that argument, but this same argument could be made to block any information requested about any citation at all! If they are looking for things because those things indicate a safety issue, then solving those things would alleviate the safety issue. Isn’t that what they are in business for? We don’t think citations should be the primary business that OSHA is in!

We’d rather have the problem solved by the PSM practitioner and refrigeration technicians to ensure the safety of the community and the employee BEFORE the odd OSHA inspection or chemical release. OSHA’s position seems to be that the information on these slides shows inspectors where there are gaps in a program but that information should only be known to the inspectors – not the people actually endangered by the process or the people in charge of ensuring its safety.

Is OSHA more interested in citations than employee safety? It certainly shouldn’t be – according to their own website (https://www.osha.gov/about.html) the reason that congress created OSHA was “to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.”

Is hiding information that would show those operating a chemical process where there might be flaws in that process really how they intend to “assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women”? We at GCAP don’t think that’s right and we intend to appeal these redactions.

Look for an upcoming podcast where we discuss what we learned from the information they did provide including the answer to the original question: What was the source of that quote in the original citation?

Ammonia PSM Slides OSHA 3430

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